The Bottom Line
Windows 8.1 delivers native support for 3-D printing, NFC, and Wi-Fi Direct printing and media streaming with the Miracast specification. Absent any of those needs, Windows 7 users might stay where they are. For systems with Windows 8 or below, moving to 8.1 will be worth the time. Before you download Windows 8.1, you'll be asked where your original version came from. If you installed the preview from Windows Store or disc or USB media while Win8 was running, Microsoft says you'll be able to upgrade in place at no charge and keep the computer's settings but that apps will need to be reinstalled. However, if you install Win 8.1 preview version from an ISO, you'll need to restore your original Windows version before upgrading. Otherwise, you'll have to purchase a Win 8.1 Pro license and activate shortly after updating.
In any event, if you end up with Win8 now or in the future and decide it's not for you, visit CRN to learn how to downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7.